[Private journal entry written on Thursday, February 16, 2012 – continued from previous post]
However, things didn’t unfold as I had hoped.
Luke seemed to be in a big hurry to get things packed up and cleaned up . . . I’m not sure if he was in a time crunch or if the gallery owner was in a time crunch . . . but, it seems I may have waited a bit too long to ask him for my copy of the book . . . he had already moved out of his “meet and greet” laid-back, jovial mode and into a “gotta get this done and get outta here” mode.
I caught his attention, introduced myself and asked if I could pick up my copy of the book (for which I had already paid) and if I could additionally purchase a copy of the movie at the discounted price. He responded with a quick, “Oh, yes!” and reached into a box to pull out my copy of the book. He said he was surprised to see me because he didn’t think I was going to be there . . . he had planned to leave my copy with the gallery owner for me to pick up later. I explained that my schedule had allowed me to attend . . .
As he handed me the book and I handed him a check for the movie, he mentioned that he had inscribed a personalized note to my mom in the book wishing her the best with her watercolor painting, and had signed and dated the inscription. I thanked him for that special touch . . . how neat!
And that was the extent of our conversation – he went back to packing up his stuff.
I wasn’t ready to give up that easily. I knew this might be my one chance to make a connection with him – I wasn’t going to let the chance just slip by.
So, I started helping with the clean up. I helped put away chairs; I helped carry boxes out to his car . . .
There were five or six of us working together on the clean-up. I overheard one of the ladies who knows Luke well make a light-hearted comment about all the ladies who were at the event and how, after any public event, Luke has to contend with the gaggle of potential new girlfriends hitting on him.
The way she said it, it almost sounded like she found that phenomenon humorous . . . like maybe he is gay and the attention is lost on him . . . or something like that . . . like he appears to be available but isn’t really . . . I don’t know . . . but, I found her comment discouraging. Clearly, I am turning into one of those “potential new girlfriends” with which he is forced to contend.
But, I blew it off . . . I was at the event with the intention of connecting with him . . . in whatever way and to whatever extent possible. I was not going to let a careless passing comment sway my focus. I am feeling a tiny thread of hope and possibility in relation to him . . . I am sensing a newly forming opening that could lead me to a new way of seeing myself . . . and I sense he is somehow important in my widening that opening. I don’t understand how or why, but I intuitively feel it is vital for me to connect with him. I felt it when I read his website and I was feeling it even stronger at the book-signing.
At one point, I was helping Luke fold up the projection screen. I mentioned to him that he had written the endorsement that was printed on the cover of the book written by my therapist. He seemed surprised . . . he asked the name of my therapist . . . I gave him Edward’s name . . . he said he wasn’t familiar with Edward’s name and he couldn’t remember writing that endorsement, but that it is very possible he did so as he has written quite a few endorsements like that over the years . . . I told him that the book had been published maybe a decade ago . . . I assured him it’s not surprising he didn’t remember something from that long ago . . .
I guess that means that Edward and Luke are not exactly best friends, LOL.
Anyway, the clean-up got completed and then there was nothing else for me to do but leave. I thanked the gallery owner and I thanked Luke . . . and I walked out the door and started the two-block trek back to my car.
When I got about half a block away from the gallery, I realized I had failed to get a copy of the movie DVD from Luke . . . I had paid him for it but we got to talking about his inscription for my mom in the book, which caused me to forget to get a copy of the movie from him . . .
For a second, I considered walking away and forgetting about it . . . if I went back, it would surely make me look like a dingbat . . . a desperate dingbat . . . and one of my greatest fears is that I might appear desperate. But, I decided that a “normal” and “reasonable” person would go back . . .
I knew the box containing the movies was already in his car because I had helped load it . . . I hurried back to his car . . . he was there, loading the projection screen into his car’s rear compartment . . .
Fortunately, the movie DVD’s were in a box right on the top of the load of stuff already in his car. He easily reached into the box and pulled one out. I thanked him. As he was handing it to me, there was a moment where our mutual busyness suspended and we held intense eye contact for a few seconds without saying a word. Then, we parted ways again.
You know . . . maybe that kind of eye contact is something he has learned over the years of making public appearances . . . maybe holding intense eye contact for a few seconds is a way that he can make himself appear to be really connecting with people without really connecting.
But, I swear there was a spirit-level connection between us for that moment.
Maybe it was just wishful thinking.
I know the openness and emotional availability was real on my part – maybe it was real on his part.
I guess I’ll never know for sure.
As I drove home, I pondered how I had shown up at the event. I think I did okay . . . I am proud of myself for making the effort to go to the book-signing . . . to do something scary. I am proud of myself for taking action in response to a tiny bit of hope showing up against a backdrop of such unrelenting hopelessness.
I had been playful and helpful . . . I wasn’t at all clingy . . . at least I don’t think I was. I didn’t make a spectacle of myself by falling all over him and demanding his attention . . . but maybe I did behave desperately by staying after to help with the clean-up – I’m sure my motives were obvious . . . or maybe the reality is that I could have been more assertive . . . maybe, if I would have been more assertive, I might have had a better opportunity to connect with him . . .
I don’t know. I really have no idea how to navigate this kind of stuff.
When I got home, I was totally exhausted and overwhelmed with the intensity and diversity of the day’s emotions. For several days, I have been resisting the urge to pick at my face so that my skin would be fairly clear for the book-signing. As soon as I got my coat off, I allowed myself the relief of sitting on my bathroom counter and picking at my face until every imperfection had been picked raw. Then, I put on my pajamas, curled up under the covers and ate ice cream until I thought I might puke.
As I drifted off to sleep, I comforted myself with the fantasy that Luke might find a reason to reach out to me in the next few days. Maybe there was something about me that would cause him to want to connect with me again . . . maybe there had been angels standing around me as we stood next to his car, and maybe they whispered in his ear that I am really someone special and that it would be an honor to get to know me and that he should contact me . . .
[Continued in the next post . . . ]